For the Philadelphia Orchestra’s first concert before a live audience since the pandemic shutdown 14 months ago, the orchestra and Mann Center will present a free concert for first responders and other frontline workers.
The orchestra’s May 15 concert at the Mann, to be led by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will be open to hospital and health-care staff, emergency responders, teachers, grocery store workers, postal employees, and others, the orchestra announced Monday.
Attendance will be limited by safety guidelines. The Fairmount Park venue, which has comfortably hosted a classical crowd of nearly 11,000, will only be able to accommodate about 1,200 listeners for this event, with no lawn seating or picnics.
The concert, entitled “Hail to the Heroes: A Concert of Gratitude,” will be aired at a later date on 6ABC. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with vocalist Laurin Talese opens the program, which also includes pianist Michelle Cann in Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement; the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7; and Seven O’Clock Shout by Valerie Coleman, written as a tribute to frontline workers and premiered last year.
The orchestra last performed before a live audience March 7, 2020, and has since recorded programs for its Digital Stage series at the Mann and in Verizon Hall. It is planning to host live audiences at concerts in Fairmount Park this summer, though artists and repertoire have not been announced.
“Hail to the Heroes: A Concert of Gratitude” is set for May 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mann Center. Masks are required. Tickets, which are free, at ticketmaster.com.